Debunking 10 marketing myths
In the world of marketing there are quite a few misconceptions. We want to prevent these misconceptions from hurting your marketing efforts. So let’s destroy some myths shall we?
1. Myth: Marketing = Advertising
Contrary to popular belief….advertising and marketing are NOT the same thing.
Marketing is the overall plan of developing and delivering a product or service for the marketplace. This includes everything from the design of your product/service, to development, to making decisions such as pricing, where the product will be available etc. It is identifying the need of your consumers and then meeting that need.
Advertising fits in to the marketing plan. It is the tool used to spread the word when the product or service is released into the marketplace.
In other words, marketing encompasses the entire process of preparing and delivering a product/service for the marketplace and advertising is the step of making that product/service known.
2. Myth: Marketing is only to acquire new customers
It is just as important to work to maintain your current customers as it is to gain new customers. You should never lose sight of your existing customers, you’ve worked so hard to gain them!
3. Myth: If it works for another company, it will work for you
This would be nice….but unfortunately this is not true. Mimicking something that proved to be successful for another company, is not a guarantee that it will work for you. Instead, focus on learning more about your own target audience and find the best way they respond.
4. Myth: You don't have the knowledge to market your business
Though it will take a lot of hard work, there are no previous qualifications needed in order to create a successful marketing plan. Create a plan, follow it, learn from it, adjust and keep going. The key is finding out what works for you and your customers. This takes time but it can be done!
5. Myth: Small businesses don't need to spend time or money on marketing
False! Small businesses may not have as many resources to use on marketing as other companies but this does not mean they should skip marketing completely. Developing a detailed marketing plan for a small business is extremely important though it may require a bit more thought, research, and planning. But it is not a waste of your time and money, because it WILL pay off in the end.
6. Myth: Marketing will produce results quickly
It is true that online marketing may produce results faster than traditional marketing methods, HOWEVER, marketing of any method still requires time to produce results. Even in online marketing you cannot expect to see results right away, it can take several clicks or interactions before a consumer responds. A great marketing campaign, SEO, paid marketing, etc. will all take time but in the end will produce solid results. Remember you are competing with established companies, so it will take time for consumers to become aware of your brand.
7. Myth: Good products/services sell themselves
EVERY company needs marketing. There are millions of small businesses in the United States, not to mention all the big corporations. No matter how good or unique your product offering is, you are still up against competitors. Big, established corporations still market their companies so you should too. Marketing is an essential tool that is needed to spread brand awareness of your product offerings to consumers.
8. Myth: Marketing is a waste of money
We just discussed the need for EVERY business to implement marketing into their business plan. Marketing is always needed. BUT when marketing is done incorrectly it can be a waste of your time and money. This is why it is important make a plan, have a budget and above all, MONITOR your results so you know what methods work and which to let go of. This is also why it takes time to see results (see Myth #6). Creating a marketing technique that works for your consumers will take some time but in the end will prove itself.
9. Myth: If I use social media, I don't need a website
It is true social media is a big component of marketing in today’s world. But a good social media presence will hopefully drive consumers to your website. You need a place to lead your consumers to and give them a call to action. You should never rely on social media alone. With constant algorithm changes it has proven to be unpredictable. And from a consumers perspective, a company with a website may appear to be more established than one without.
10. Myth: Online marketing is all you need
Online marketing is a valuable method that is used by almost every business today. Small businesses especially love online marketing because it is generally the most feasible method. But it is always best not to put all of your eggs in one basket. In fact, a complete marketing plan is known as the “Marketing Trifecta”. The trifecta incorporates PAID MEDIA (ads, etc.), OWNED MEDIA (mostly online assets such as social media and websites) and EARNED MEDIA (word of mouth, reviews, etc.). Both online and offline methods are needed to reach this marketing trifecta.
Bonus Myth: All content should center around my business
When the only message you put out there is to promote and buy, consumers are likely to disengage with your brand. People desire a connection and the same is true with consumers. Content marketing helps to engage your audience. This may mean putting out content that doesn’t always center around your products or services. Be relatable, be the answer to someone’s question, provide tips and free resources etc.
We’ve compiled a list of FREE marketing resources that you can utilize for your business. We love the things on this list, not only because they are free but because they are actually great resources.
So let’s dive in.
Canva is a unique design platform. Create anything you need from a template (pre-designed or blank) or build something completely from scratch.
Here are a few examples of how you can utilize Canva. (For a full look at everything they offer, visit canva.com)
Develop your resume, creating invoices or even designing a logo just got easier. When it comes to social platforms they have thousands of pre-designed templates for Facebook posts, Instagram stories, Facebook Cover photos, Pinterest posts etc. Make it a group effort by sharing your design with others who can view and/or edit. Set your brand profile by picking your brand colors, uploading your logo and selecting a brand font to make creating graphics a quick and easy.
All of this you can do for free with he basic Canva account. There is also a Canva Pro subscription that you can purchase which allows you access to exclusive design content.
Social Media Scheduling
Don’t sleep on the resources that allow you to schedule out your posts. If you are a business that often gets caught up in the day-to-day tasks which causes you to forget to keep up your posting regimen, fear not because there are many resources to help you. There a several popular scheduling platforms out there such as Buffer and Later to name a couple. Most are manageable via their webpage or an app.
Most of these platforms have several different plans to choose from. How many accounts you can manage and posts you can schedule at once varies on the plan. Of course the free plan is going to be the most restrictive but is still a useful resource, especially if you are only managing social media for one or two businesses.
Facebook Business Suite
This is a personal favorite of ours. By linking your Instagram and Facebook business pages, you are able to schedule to both platforms via business.facebook.com. This has been an absolute lifesaver for us and a tool that we HIGHLY utilize.
Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business profile is a great way to establish your business in the eyes of consumers. It is an easy way for connect to your website, view your business hours and phone number.
It will also provide insights on your business listing such as how many searches you appeared in and what percentage was direct or discovery, actions taken once they find your profile, and what key words consumers are using to come across your business.
Hubspot is a CRM platform but they have an educative blog that covers just about any business topic you can think of. Use this blog as a resource that can answer any marketing questions you could have. Go ahead and subscribe to their blog to stay up to date with new posts or take one of their free courses!
Ever thought of starting a blog of your own? If you have a website, maybe it’s time to take the leap and start. This is a great way to incorporate key words, links etc. to increase the chances of your website showing up in Google searches.
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.
You already know the drill. If you aren’t utilizing social media platforms (they are free!) then it’s time you start. Over half of the world population uses social media, this makes social media a great marketing resource to meet the people where they’re at and increase your brand awareness.
Hopefully you will start utilizing these great resources for your own business. We have found them very helpful and think you will too!
So you're in the Ag Industry. With an extensive background in the ranching industry, we know how busy life can get. You're probably thinking you don't have time to deal with the ins and outs of social media. To which we'd say "Can you afford NOT to use it?"
As a marketing company, we believe in the power of social media. Businesses in any industry should utilize and reap the benefits that it has to offer. What used to be a communication tool, is now one of the leading marketing techniques. We believe that every business should use social media.
EVEN AGRICULTURE BUSINESSES
Technology is a key player in our world today. It serves as a powerful tool to communicate, to market and to educate.
Reasons Why Ag Businesses Should Use Social Media
Any business can reap benefits of using social media but we want to dive into WHY Agriculture businesses should use it.
There is value in connections. Social media can give you the opportunity to connect and network with others in the agriculture industry. It’s a great way to keep up with other farmers and ranchers. Within seconds you can gain an influx of new knowledge and resources at your fingertips. Quick resources can be a valuable tool in the ag industry! Social media allows you to learn from others and share your own knowledge. It is a good way to stay up to date and learn from new ideas about topics in your industry.
As we’ve mentioned before, social media is no longer just a communication tool. It is one of the most used (if not THE most used) way to market a business today. It’s quick, it’s easy, and for the most part…is free. Within a moment you can display new information, offers, ideas and resources to your audience.
The key to seeing results from digital marketing via social media is time and patience. Just like in agriculture, you aren’t going to see immediate results. That’s because it takes time to build up your audience and to establish yourself as a trusted resource for others. It’s a long game but with dedication and consistency (and good content!) you can see results. Again, this concept is nothing new to you, because we know that being in the agriculture industry takes dedication and patience.
A big benefit of social media is that it allows you to ENGAGE. You can engage with businesses and consumers in an instant. More and more consumers use social media as a tool when making buying decisions. This means it’s important for your business to have an online presence. It allows for a more personal way of engaging and communicating. You can also easily take part in discussions that are occurring regarding farming, ranching, cattle, livestock etc.
These are three of the main reasons why we believe agriculture businesses should use social media: to communicate with each other, to market to their consumers, and to engage.
So what social platforms should you be using? All provide different benefits and a variety in audiences. A bit of research on our end shows that Facebook is a big platform for those in the agriculture world. Another big platform that many farmers and ranchers visit daily is Youtube.
Social media can be the tool you need to establish your business as a reliable resource in your industry. Remember to offer VALUABLE content and this will help you gain this trust and build reliability. Becoming active on even ONE social platform will benefit your business. Not taking advantage of any social media could prove dire to your business.
We’ve all been there. Reached a creative burnout. It’s bound to happen.
So how do you bounce back?
It’s okay if you’ve reached the burnout point. It is only natural for your mind to get exhausted, especially if you’re working in a creative industry. It may seem hopeless but don’t worry. There is hope on the other side of that wall!
Take some time to rest and recuperate. Your body is probably trying to tell you to slow down. Once you’ve taken a break your mind will be ready tackle getting creative again.
Manage your time. When you’ve hit the burnout point, it can be easy to doubt everything that you are creating. Instead of focusing on making something perfect, learn to stop when something is good. Spending excess time trying to reach perfection is only going to wear you down farther.
You can even take time management to the next level by setting time restrictions on yourself in certain areas. Set a goal for the time you spend working on certain tasks or projects and restrict the time you spend on distractions (example: social media).
Know your limits. If you’re in a position where others depend on your creativity, it can be a lot of pressure. It’s okay to set boundaries with people that are wearing you down.
Find an outlet. One of the most common suggestions for people that have reached a creative burnout is to find a completely unrelated creative outlet. This allows you to exercise your creativity but without the pressure of being creative in the area that you’ve hit your road block in.
Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help! If you’re feeling stuck, connect with others on your team to discuss ideas. Talking ideas over with others can really help get the creativity flowing.
Get back to the basics. Sometimes the hardest part when you’re experiencing a creative block is the beginning. Push past that mental barrier. Take it back to the basics, the things that you know. This could serve as the fresh approach that you needed to get those creative juices flowing again.
Need some inspiration?
What if you haven’t hit a major burnout but are just lacking some inspiration.
Get outside. Go for a walk. Fill your lungs with fresh air. Spending some time outside is a sure way to clear your mind, relieve stress and reset your creativity!
Clean your space. Organize your workspace. Tidy up your home. Spending some time decluttering can help to clear your mind and maybe even provide some inspiration.
Gather inspiration from others in your field. We have countless resources at our fingertips! Look at work from others in your field. Take some time to learn and be inspired from others and maybe this will trigger new ideas to flow.
Most importantly. Let loose and have fun! Take the pressure off by allowing yourself to do something you enjoy. Take a trip, play your favorite sport, or grab coffee with a friend. You can even shake things up and try something new!
Including hashtags on your social media posts can be a difficult art to master. There are so many different hashtags and ways to use them. There are branded hashtags, trending hashtags, campaign hashtags, small hashtags, unique hashtags and more. How do I use them on different social media platforms and when?
You can start out with creating a branded hashtag. Inspiration for this is most likely going to come from your company name. We use #RancherProfiles on every post on our social media. It doesn’t just have to be your company name though, it can be a variation of your name and/or what you do. This is something that you will want to include on every post to create that consistent brand recognition. If it is catchy and easy to remember, then the hope is that your customers will use it when referring to your business as well.
The second most common kind of hashtag you will want to include in posts are trending hashtags. This is the technique that is going to get your post noticed by a larger audience. Ultimately the goal is to reach beyond just your current followers and in turn increase your engagement. Trending hashtags are constantly changing so this is something requires a bit more time. Because this is an industry where things come and go quickly it is also good to pay attention to why a hashtag is trending. Just because something is going viral doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good fit for your company.
Opting for unique hashtags will prove to be more of an attention grabber than using general tags. Instead of loading up on generic tags for your post, take the time to research or come up with something a bit more creative and targeted. Find a way to incorporate a trending hashtag. If you are running a campaign, create a unique hashtag for you and your audience to use for the duration of the campaign.
Before using a hashtag in your posts, you can research how the hashtag has been used in the past. Look at what kind of posts the hashtag has been used with and variations of the hashtag to see what is used the most. Many social media platforms even display how many times the hashtag has been used. This is a great resource that can help when you’re deciding what tags to include.
Don’t overuse hashtags!
Loading your post up with hashtags looks messy and unappealing to your audience. Instead, carefully select a couple (maybe even just one!) hashtags to use in your post. Some even say not to use hashtags in every post.
Just like you follow an account, Instagram has a feature that lets you follow hashtags. Posts that include the hashtag you follow will show up on your feed. While you may not include a hashtag that you follow in your posts, this is a great tool that can help you discover similar accounts that you may want to keep up with.
How Many Hashtags Do I Use?
How many hashtags you should use varies across social media platforms. On Facebook you should use anywhere from 0-3. Alternatively, on Instagram you can use more. Social Pilot has a great chart that showcases the number of hashtags you can use for each platform that will produce the best engagement. Click here and scroll down to Point #3.
So you have a list of subscribers, now it’s time to create some valuable content for them! If you are a bit overwhelmed, don’t worry. Rancher Profiles has got you! Check out our Part 1 blog where we discuss the necessary steps for beginning your email campaigns. Now we can jump into Part 2, where we’ll discuss maintaining your subscribers by using valuable content techniques. Here a few ideas to help get you started.
Keep in Mind
While creating content, ALWAYS think about if it will be valuable to your subscribers. Of course you can trial and error content ideas to see what is received the best by your audience but keep in mind not to send out emails just for the sake of filling space. Keep it real! You will lose subscribers pretty quickly if all you do is try to sell something.
Chances are you know more than you think you do. If you’re nervous about the information that you have to share with your subscribers, relax! What may be basic common knowledge to you could be something essential that your subscribers need to learn.
We’ve discussed this before but tips and tricks, free training, free e-courses, product recommendations (I know the ladies love this one!) are all great ideas of valuable content to keep your subscribers engaged and invested.
Starting an email series is a great way to keep your listeners engaged. It also allows you to go even deeper into a specific topic and really learn. Spreading a topic out over a span of time also prevents your audience from getting overwhelmed by too much information at once.
While we are on the topic of email series, why not start with a welcome series to introduce your audience to you, your business and what they can expect from you. This allows time for you to dive deeper into your background, your credentials and your mission. You want to make sure that the first email a subscriber opens, draws them in. It is said that your very first email will perhaps be the most read and opened email that you could ever send. So make it count!
People like to feel like they’re a part of something. Showing your audience that you value and remember them could bring better results on your email campaigns, especially if you truly are trying to enrich their lives by providing valuable information. Try to create a sense of community within your audience. Personalize as much as you can. Reference any information you have on your members while they’ve been a part of your email family. Remember birthdays, use names and reference membership levels (if that applies). If a customer has bought something from your store before, remind them of what they bought, if they might be needing it again or suggest other products they might be interested in.
We discussed this tactic as a great way to increase your subscribers, but it is also a good opportunity and fun for the people that are already on your list. If you're doing a giveaway online, tell them first! Treat them like royalty by giving them first dibs and exclusive access to information and opportunities. Make them feel valued and show them that it is definitely worth it to be on your email list.
I Challenge You…
People also love a good challenge and might be waiting for an opportunity to practice what you’ve been preaching to them. This also helps to create a feeling of community by knowing that there are many joining them on this challenge.
I think the biggest thing that Rancher Profiles wants you to take away from this, is to think about how you can help your audience first. If you take the time to personalize, get to know and serve your subscribers, you will see greater results when you actually are trying to sell something to them. There is much more information out there that can assist you in your email campaign endeavors, but we hope this provided you with a little insight. Check out this amazing resource on ‘The How-To- Guide to Email Lists’ if you want to dive deeper. Thanks for tuning in!
The first step to an email campaign is getting subscribers. So how do you do that? Below are just a few tips and tricks that we think should help you grow your subscriber list. So let’s get started!
Make sure people know that you offer an email subscription
Now this is probably a ‘duh’ thing to do but we thought we might as well just lay it out there. Make sure your followers know that you do offer an email subscription!
Make it to easy sign up
This leads right into the ease of signing up. You could have a sign-up page that takes several clicks to get to and then requires all the information to be entered. But the less they have to click to get to it, the better! We want it to be easy. Include a direct sign-up link in several different places on your website. Have the option on your homepage, put it ‘floating’ in your header/footer/sidebar, checkout page and blog page. It’s ok to be repetitive so people can see it in more than one place. It also helps to get the message across that you have information available to your audience if they subscribe to your emails! Here is where Rancher Profiles includes it on our homepage:
Think about changing the wording of how you are asking your audience to sign-up depending on what page it’s on. If you have an option to sign-up on a checkout page if you sell products, offer the email list as a way to receive special discounts and offers. If it’s on the blog page of your website, use the incentive that they can get more content like this with exclusive insight and tips on whatever it is you do.
Show that you can provide your subscribers with something of value
Probably one of the most important things that you can do is provide something of value and prove that to your audience. If you can immediately show that you have something of value to offer your audience, that will definitely increase your chances of increasing subscribers. And as it costs nothing to sign up for an email list, this is free information for them! Free training, courses, tips and tricks, campaigns on popular topics and discounts are all great examples of worthy content. Offering a free training or course on a valuable topic is probably going to get you more subscribers than asking for someone to sign up for a newsletter. Not that newsletters aren’t important but you need to continue to think about what kind of content your audience is interested in and present it in a way to shows the value.
Give a sneak peek
Give your audience a resource without having to sign up for anything to get them interested in your content. Then say that you have more resources available and provide an easy sign up link or put the link to a sign up page in a statement that reads something like: “Click here for more of our free resources.”
We love a giveaway!
Giveaways are a great technique to generate new interest and subscribers. Offer free products, a service, or collab with other businesses to offer an enticing giveaway. You can give away something that has nothing to do with your business but attracts attention like a free hotel stay, etc. Of course one of the giveaway entry requirements is following you on social media and signing up for the email list.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Remind your lovely followers WHY they should sign up and what they are missing out on if they haven’t already. Tease the subscriber only benefits that they will get if they join your email community.
It’s not just emails, it’s valuable information
Some people just don’t like the idea of signing up for emails no matter how you spin it. Be creative in the ways that you are presenting your offer of signing up. You don’t even have to (and you probably shouldn’t) use the words ‘email list’. Put the value of what you are offering in the call to action. Example: “Receive bi-weekly marketing tips to keep your business at the top of it’s game!”
Focus on repetition and consistency. Establish yourself as knowledgeable and an expert resource so your audience can trust the information that you provide and know that what they are signing up for WILL give them something of value. Thanks for joining us here at the Rancher Profiles Blog and be sure to check out our “Part 2” of email campaigns where we dive into content ideas and different ways to keep your subscribers engaged.
Facebook offers a simple way of promoting your business and that is using the ‘boost’ feature on your posts. It is a paid form of advertisement but it is simple, easy to use and will definitely increase the engagement on your post. After you post, there should be a ‘boost’ option in the bottom right corner.
There are many other ways to increase the engagement on your Facebook posts. Hootsuite offers many useful tips when navigating the world of Facebook Engagement. The most important takeaway is to make sure the content you are posting is something that will capture the attention of your audience and spark a desire to engage. Make sure your posts are offering something of value, don’t post if you are trying to just fill the void. Offer tips, information, free shipping, discounts or ask a question. Check out more engagement tips here. Once your audience has engaged on your post don’t forget to interact with them as well by responding to comments and questions. This will help build the momentum for your future posts.
If you have any requests on topics you would like to hear more about, be sure to let us know.
Word of Mouth Marketing (also referred to in this blog as WOMM) is the act of a business trying to get consumers to actively talk about their brand, product or service that they offer. It also refers to the act of the consumer talking about the product and sharing their own experiences with the brand, good or bad. Word of Mouth is extremely important and arguably one of the most influential forms of marketing there is. A high percentage of marketing executives believe that it has proved to be the most effective form of marketing.
Every business, big or small, should utilize and learn from, word of mouth marketing. It is
important to note that the word of mouth experiences that are being shared about your business may impact your business. Because it may not always be something that you can ‘see’ take place, you should think of ways to spark good word of mouth marketing by ensuring the customer has a great experience with your company. Many consumers may choose to only talk about their experience with your company in a personal way and not take it to an online outlet such as leaving a review or sharing about it on their social media.
You can develop a Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy that will suit your specific needs
and help to achieve your goals. An example of how to start out a good WOMM strategy is to offer good customer service from the moment a consumer enters into contact with your business. Whether that is a physical storefront, an online store or website offering products or services, your social media accounts, etc. there are ways to make it a welcoming environment that will kickstart a good experience for the consumer. Customer reviews are also a great opportunity to utilize WOMM. The more positive reviews a product has, the more likely it will convince a new consumer to use the product. You can encourage and create good opportunities for customers to leave reviews. Think outside the box of ways to set your brand apart, this will spark organic word of mouth from your customers.
Where word of mouth was once only achieved in face to face interaction, it has now
expanded to the online world. With this, brings an increased chance of both positive and
negative word of mouth experiences about your brand. Writing reviews online and sharing about your experience on social media is as easy as clicking a button. This is why a business should be aware that every point of interaction with their customers is important. Though experiences with a company or product can be shared online or in person, know that Word of Mouth thrives on a level of trust. Hearing about an experience with a business or product from someone you know will be more effective than reading about a company online.
Developing a strategy that works towards Word of Mouth Marketing is important. Here is a good resource to learn more about WOMM and strategy examples that you can utilize for your business. Thank you for joining us on the Rancher Profiles blog today!
Learning how to increase your website traffic is a great tool that will be very beneficial to your business. The main result we are looking for by trying to drive more traffic to your website is business growth. More traffic can mean an increase in your potential customers and help to generate quality leads. You’ll need to make sure that you are tracking your website traffic, because seeing where your traffic is coming from allows you to know what marketing techniques are working and provide insight on the audience that is visiting your site.
What’s the current state of your website?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Be a Social Media Butterfly
Take Advantage of Google Business
There are many more tools you can use to drive traffic to your website. Especially if you are not restricted to only looking at free methods. Online ads and paid Facebook advertising are very common ways of paid methods. We have countless resources at our fingertips to learn about all the techniques, paid and unpaid, to increase traffic and brand awareness. Take the time to research and test out what works for best for you